Matthews Apologizes for Saying 'I'm So Glad We Had That Storm Last Week'
As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC's Chris Matthews, in response to Barack Obama's re-election victory, said Tuesday, "I'm so glad we had that storm last week."
On Wednesday, the Hardball host led off his program with a heartfelt apology (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS: But I can't begin our usual political discussion tonight without a strong, sad personal note. I was on last night for ten hours straight from five in the evening till three in the morning. At a few minutes to three I said something terrible. I said that I was glad about the coming of tropical storm Sandy because of its impact on this national campaign. It was a terrible thing to say period.
I could say it was because I was tired, but the fact is I wasn't thinking of the horrible mess this storm has made of people's real lives up here in New York and elsewhere. It's not till you read the local newspapers around here that you see and know the horror this has wreaked on people's lives, in fact very good people's lives.
I grew up in the south Jersey shore. I've relatives living there still. But I failed to see the even worse damage done further up in the state of New Jersey and in Staten Island and other places around here. It is truly a horror up here.
Maybe Matthews would have known about the horrors left by this storm if he and his entire so-called "news network" had bothered to report them.
But instead, he and his colleagues throughout much of the Obama-loving media ignored the aftermath of Sandy focusing more on how the images of the President with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would help his re-election.
The fact is that if the press had been as vigilant in covering those horrors as they were during Katrina, the American people mightn't have had as positive an impression of the President's handling of the crisis.
Maybe Matthews should apologize about that as well.
But I wouldn't hold your breath.
Here's the rest of Matthews' apology:
MATTHEWS: No, I was too deeply enmeshed in political thinking, deep in a world of numbers and issues and people and stakes and all focused on who would win and who would lose. But I left out the number one job of anyone on air, on television, or on the radio: to think about the lives, the real lives of people – their losses, their relatives and friends who died in this disaster, their dreams that have been hurt and sometimes destroyed. I said something not just stupid but wrong.
What I should have said is that how impressive it is for people in trouble and how they react to see politicians working together across party lines as they did during tropical storm Sandy and how people like to see that. Instead I said something that suggested ends justify means – something I’ve never believed in my life, and even thinking that way I think is an immoral way to live your life.
Bad is bad, good is good. There is no confusing the two. I said something bad about something bad when I should have said something good about something I do believe is good: people charged with public responsibility working together for the people they’re elected to represent.
Look, I intend to take serious steps to show that I am sincere on this. I have heard from members of my family, members of my own family who live near the areas hit. They don’t like what I said any more than a lot of other people like it. Please believe me, I’m determined to do what I can to try to help the people who have already been hurt enough, who are suffering enough hardship without hearing stupid stuff from me.